Success in the commercial real estate industry requires being able to gain, develop and leverage various forms of capital: intellectual, financial, human and social. I was in Chicago twice during the last few weeks and they were an incredible source of capital ideas.
Intellectual Capital. As head of the Chicago Booth Real Estate Alumni Group, I am pleased to announce that our 7th Annual RE Conference was another great success! The event featured industry heavy hitters and academic thought leaders. The links for the conference videos and presentations are now posted at www.chicagoboothreag.org.
Financial Capital. As a hallmark of REAG Conferences, we again featured a Capital Markets panel. Emerging trends were addressed by executives from Goldman Sachs, Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, GEM Realty Capital and Pearlmark Real Estate Partners.
- UCLA Prof. Matthew Kahn, a Chicago-trained economist who teaches Environmental Economics lit up the crowd with his humorous and intriguing talk.
- Sam Chandan delivered another high-energy presentation of the CRE market outlook.
- Prof. Randall Kroszner of Chicago Booth, also a former Governor of the Federal Reserve System, provided valuable macro-economic insights.
- Prof. Joe Pagliari of Chicago Booth presented highlights of his controversial research findings on incentive fees; the original paper was sponsored by PREA.
- Keynote speaker John Schreiber, a Partner and Co-Founder of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, as well as President of Centaur Capital Partners, Inc., provided an array of trends.
Human Capital / Social Capital. With Schreiber’s down to earth and genuine personality, he further impressed the participants with his emphasis on human capital aspects for success. Steven Koch, Deputy Mayor of Chicago, is a Booth alumnus and a prominent investment banker, noted that knowledge workers are a driving force behind the vibrant downtown living style of Chicago. Kahn elaborated further that cities that offer opportunities for a high quality of life will sustainably attract highly-skilled workers who wish to co-locate.
I also had an opportunity to collaborate in hosting a networking event with Chicago Booth students and alumni registered for the ULI Fall Meetings.
Additionally, I had the pleasure of meeting key hiring managers of leading real estate firms at NAREIM’s Job Fair. Kudos to NAREIM CEO Gunnar Branson for the great idea. Gunnar also shared a refreshing perspective that real estate success is beyond the physical assets—that human capital and social capital are key ingredients. http://www.nareim.org/viewpoints/why-real-estate-matters/
The trips reinforced the notion that real estate is, and always will be, a people business.